CWS – say no to dirt!

April 18, 2009

cws-logoViral marketing, as already discussed in previous blog entries enjoys increased popularity and respect amongst marketers. Various campaigns have emerged out of nowhere and pleased online users with creative, funny and somehow unique content. One of them came from the German organisation “Complete Washroom Soulutions” CWS two years ago in 2007 and is, in my opinion, well worthy to be mentioned.

CWS chose the way of celebrity endorsement. They enlisted supermodel and actress Milla Jovovich for their video promotion to add a little bit of style, coolness and sex appeal. The scene shows her in a posh nightclub in a toilet stall, kneeing on the floor and preparing to snort a line of the drug cocaine from a toilet seat. Unfortunately for her, the toilet seat’s automated sanitary mechanism gets activated and the seat starts to rotate in order to clean itself. Milla keeps trying to get her nose full, but she is too slow and her initial shocked face reveals a massive scream that makes the other ladies who are in the bathroom wonder… the viewer is left a few seconds and then the message “say no to dirt” appears. But see it yourself, if you have not seen it yet.

Not only a very appropriate slogan for a toilet solutions maker, but also a great way to highlight a situation that is a well known problem for many bars and clubs. They advertise their product by offering a solution to a common “problem” (a clean seat for everyone at any time) and also make a statement about drug abuse. In my view they can be given some credit for a small contribution of corporate social responsibility. With 1,091,485 views on social networking site Youtube there must have been certain success through awareness creation and increased web traffic for CWS. “Online you are what you publish” (says David Meerman Scott). In that context, CWS achieved to create a fresh and modern image for themselves with that particular clip. Moreover, raised public awareness of a B2B brand can influence some kind of a pull effect, which generates demand from the end-user up the supply chain. Whilst some may argue its actual value to the company, I think that having your brand name out there is certainly a positive aspect that can have a variety of effects. Brand awareness creation, which involves brand recall and brand recognition, supports strategic brand management when building name recognition for your organisation, service or product.

There may be a connection between an earlier anti-drug campaign that is shown on video sharing site Dailymotion. Unfortunately, I struggle to find any closer information about that one, but here is the video. (I’ll have to warn you, it is certainly not a nice scene to watch and blood is involved… so children under 16 should probably not watch it)

The CWS video promotion is considered as excellent by various experts such as David Meerman-Scott or Marketingprofs, because it shows that really every brand can go viral, no matter whether B2B or B2C as well as no matter what product type. Even a product that may be rather considered as “boring” and “unexciting” such as a toilet can create buzz and become memorable through its marketing. It does not always need to be a highly fancy consumer product, but the way it is presented must be somehow special. Granfield from Marketingmag reports that brand advertisement can become remarkable by telling a story (if you have a few spare minutes, read his article: “How to get the world’s attention without being remarkable” here, I think it is brilliant!) This matches with what I referred to in one of my previous blog entries: create content that engages and excites your target audience. Nevertheless, the product or service must be of a certain value and quality – marketing can do lots, but it’s certainly no magician that turns “rubbish” into profit. Well… it actually did work with some brands, but that is my personal opinion and I do not want to cause any offence by mentioning names. 😉

In the end viral marketing could be referred to as “online gossip”. As long as you create something that makes people pass it on, remember and discuss it you have definitely secured “your foot in the door”. People love stories, otherwise things like books, TV and cinemas would not really work. I am sure nearly every one of us is guilty of having been involved in some form of “gossip”. Now, just apply the gossip to marketing, think how you can make the people you want to get interested in your story and get started!



  1. thanks, joy, again a very interesting post!
    so the question is how to promote a rather boring and unexciting brand like cws? the “only” thing you need is an excellent idea, such as shown in the clip. and, in my opinion, it helps to have milla jovovic in the clip. 🙂
    i really like good commercial! and this is a good one! i wouldn’t say that viral marketing is “online gossip”.
    there is one left product, which i think has never had a really cool commercial, and this is washing powder!!! 😉
    even this…

    omg…! :-/

    i’m looking fwd to read your next post, joy!

  2. Thank you parasite…I am doing my best, it is a very busy time at the moment!

    Loved your link for the commercial for Italian washing powder. It seems that at present everything is possible in terms of advertising.

    It really excites me, how many marketing opportunities there are in new media to create better and more innovative marketing campaigns. Being a student, I cannot wait to get started with work after finishing my degree!

  3. I agree with you parasite. Milla Jovovic definitely gives the commercial a nice touch! A great way to advertise “complete washroom solutions” like a toilet seat cleaner. Definitely a very creative way of thinking. More campaigns should be like that.

    I think we should know some people working for that company. 🙂

  4. I like this ad and the use of the double meaning ‘saying no to dirt’ while using the product, and also saying no to drugs. Choosing Milla was an excellent choice as she is a great model and actress with a unique edge.

    This is a challenge to all of use in the communications industry to remain innovative fresh and relevant in our creative content!!!

  5. @oliver: i’m not quite sure if we really should, or NEED to, know some people working for that company…

    i mean, i can remember some non-cws-employee, let’s call him “john”, explaining to me my own “closomat”, while flooding my washroom! 😀

  6. That video is pretty good… I like the idea of coke heads getting annoyed by anti-drug toilets.

    The idea of viral marketing is one of the best things to come out of the web 2.0 era in my opinion. Not only has it produced some hilarious videos it also is a great way of spreading the word of a product.

  7. Ha, what a funny video (I am referring to the first one; the second one is well scary). I agree with you Valentina, it is incredibly interesting how you can make a funny ad for nearly everything. I’ve watched your link…that was pretty entertaining as well 😉

  8. I guess marketing has to do a better job continuously, as there is so much competitive content and individuals suffer formation overload, which can end in no having interest at all. The Internet offers an easy way to access desired information within seconds. Why believe in promotional slogans when you can check and compare prices so easily? Marketing faces definitely a challenge in my opinion.

  9. yo, great name for your site and great blog entry. :)))
    my blog: http://semev.ru/

  10. I`d love to!

  11. Only recently I have used a CWS toilet and their slogan “say no to dirt” really keeps its promise. Great products, great campaign – you can become a brand advocate for CWS very easily after using it once. That must have some positive effects on their sales, even if it is a B2B business.

  12. Indeed that was a very nice blog. I watched your video and the advertisement about the toilet cleaner was really fantastic. People won’t get bored watching it and while they’re watching with fun, they already learned something. Continue posting some blogs like this, very interesting!

  13. i like comedy that is why i always look for funny videos on metacafe and youtube”~.

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